It’s been 20 years since we were first introduced to a young wizard named Harry Potter, a school named Hogwarts, and an adventure that spans 8 books, 9 feature films (and counting), and a two-part West End stage production.  The Harry Potter universe is fantasy driven, with wands and magical creatures like dragons and elves, but many of the core lessons can be applied broadly in the real world.  Sirius-ly!  In honor of the 20 year anniversary of the first Harry Potter books release, here are three lessons the series can teach us about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

1. Proper Training Can Be The Difference Between Success And Failure

“There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class.” – Severus Snape

In the Harry Potter series, young witches and wizards are sent to wizarding schools like Hogwarts to learn to properly control and utilize their magical abilities.  For Harry, Ron, Hermione, and friends, the training they received at school was often the difference between life and death.  Knowing the right spell to use at the right time saved our heroes many times throughout their adventure.  Taking it one step further, in the film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them,” we see the disastrous effects of uncontrolled magic.

In the real world, improper training can often lead to misuse of ERP software that hurts your business in terms of invalid data or simply not using the solution to its fullest extent.  According to Aberdeen Group, proper training is the key component to ROI with ERP with benefits in performance metrics such as profit margins, inventory accuracy, complete and on-time delivery, employee engagement, and more. Just as magic is wasted and can become volatile when not trained properly in Harry Potter, investments into ERP implementations will be in vain unless training is included in the investment.

2. It’s Okay To Ask For Help

“Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” – Albus Dumbledore

This is one of the lessons that Harry struggles with right up until the end of his adventure.  He hates to ask for help, even when he really needs it.  Whether that’s figuring out what a clue means during the Triwizard Tournament, or tracking down a long-lost diadem, he often tries fruitlessly to figure it out himself.  Though Harry means well, he soon realizes that there are battles to be fought alone and others that you can’t.

It’s easy to slip into the mindset that you need to make it on your own.  Asking for help is often challenging, but we will all need and should accept the help of others when necessary.  Whether it’s putting together the right implementation team or seeking technical support from specialists, ERP is no exception.

3. Work As A Team, Win As A Team

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”  – Albus Dumbledore

No matter how skilled, talented, and hard-working Harry Potter was, he would never have defeated Voldemort without the help of his friends.  In fact, each of the seven Horcruxes (magical objects) was destroyed by a different character, making victory possible.  Harry’s team utilizes each individual’s strengths to compensate for individual weaknesses in order to work towards a common goal.  We see similar teams form in The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts.

The right project team can be crucial to the success of an ERP implementation.  Just as Harry and his friends complement each other’s strengths, seek out what an individual does best, and use it to the team’s advantage.  It’s also important to develop common goals and KPIs for the team to cultivate a sense of purpose and maintain morale.  After all, like Harry, you can’t do it all yourself.

Good stories have the power to teach lessons that are applicable beyond the limits of fictional circumstances.  Lessons taught in Harry Potter can be applied broadly to many situations.  The importance of proper training, asking for help, and working as a team are three valuable lessons that are applicable to ERP projects.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about ERP solutionsERP consulting, or ACC’s flexible training options!

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